Soutzoukakia? Just Call Them Greek Meatballs!
I think I make meatballs almost as often as I make chili, and like chili there is an almost endless variety of flavors and styles.
Sometimes called “sausages”, Soutzoukakia are actually more of a torpedo shape than actual balls, though you could shape these into balls if you like, but this is the traditional shape
I got the idea for these the same way I get a lot of my inspiration, from watching TV. I think it was Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives this time. At a Greek Restaurant they were putting these together and I thought “That looks good!”, and the next thing I know I’ve got a pressure cooker full of Soutzoukakia on the stove.
Greek flavors such as cumin, cinnamon and mint set these apart from other meatballs. And as you are preparing these and have the fresh mint and the cinnamon and all the various ingredients out, your kitchen is going to smell great!
I know some people are not crazy about mint, but don’t be tempted to leave it out. I, too am not very fond of mint flavoring in candy, ice cream or pretty much any other pastry or confection. In fact, when my wife asks if I want any type of mint flavored treat, my usual response is “No thanks, I don’t care for toothpaste flavored food.”
But fresh mint, that’s a whole different ballgame. It gives such a fresh aroma and flavor to whatever it is used in. So, give mint a chance!
Let’s make the meatballs first
In a food processor or blender, place 1/2 of a large chopped onion, a small handful of parsley, a small handful of mint and 4 cloves of crushed garlic and pulse it a few times. You don’t want it to be completely liquid, just kind of grated. I don’t like big chunks of onion and leaves in my meatballs, but you still want that flavor.
In a bowl, mix together the 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of bread crumbs (I used Panko), 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese (I used the “green can” type, please don’t think less of me) , 2 tablespoons red wine, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add in the onion mixture.
Mix the whole deal together with your hands until everything is combined. Don’t be too vigorous with the mixing, or you may end up with tough meatballs.
Pop it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let those flavors get friendly with each other.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and form it into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped). I make them fairly large. You can make them smaller if you like.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate.
Now it’s time to get saucy
In the oil from the meat, sauté a finely chopped shallot until it starts to soften.
Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so.
Pour in a 26 ounce box (or can) of crushed or strained tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of red wine.
Stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Return the meat to the pan and toss a couple of bay leaves on top.
Turn heat to high and lock the lid on your pressure cooker.
Bring up to high pressure
When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set time for ten minutes.
When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve these with french fries or rice.
|Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia|| |
- 1 medium or ½ large onion, chopped
- 1 small handful Italian parsley (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 small handful Fresh Mint (about 2 tablespoons)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
- 1 tablespoon parmesan (I just use the "Green Can" type)
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, run through a press
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 box or can (around 26 oz.) crushed or strained tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- In food processor or blender, place the onion, parsley, mint and garlic
- Pulse a few times until it looks finely grated, but not liquid
- In a bowl, add beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, red wine, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper
- Add in the onion mixture
- Mix with hands until everything is combined, being careful not to over-mix
- Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, to let flavors combine
- Remove from refrigerator and form into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped)
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
- Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate
- In oil from the meat, sauté the shallot until it starts to soften
- Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
- Add the cinnamon and allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so
- Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine
- Stir in the brown sugar
- Return the meat to the pan
- Toss a couple bay leaves on top
- Turn heat to high and lock lid on pressure cooker
- Bring to high pressure
- When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure
- Set time for ten minutes
- When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
- Serve these with french fries or rice